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Confess your #BadBBQSins and win

Cremated sausages, overcooked ribs, rock hard burgers… if this sounds like a typical barbecue in your back garden, then Red is here to help.

We’re giving away a Red’s Pitmaster Kit to pimp the BBQ of a believer in need. From a brand new smoker, right down to the BBQ sauces & rubs, you’ll quickly transform into a Pitmaster in waiting.

To enter, just confess your most embarrassing #badbbqsin on one of our social media pages before Monday 31st August. Pictures are encouraged….

TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK: Leeds | Manchester | Headingley | Nottingham | Shoreditch

Feast your eyes on the full prize below:

WEBER BULLET SMOKER

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To get started, you’re going to need the right equipment.

This Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker has a built in thermometer so you can stay in control of your temperature levels, and enough capacity for a feed for the whole family. Win win.

PITMASTER APRON

The Pitmaster Apron

When you’re spending countless hours tending to the fire while you create some smokey magic, you need maximum comfort, protection and baller style.

Your apron will be bespoke tailored to your own size and stamped with the Red’s cruciform, identifying you as a true believer and master of the meat.

FULL COLLECTION OF SAUCES/RUBS

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Any good barbecue needs true, authentic BBQ sauces on the table.

We’ll include a full set of 5 sauces and 4 rubs from the range currently available in Asda.

LET THERE BE MEAT RECIPE BOOK

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To give you inspiration for your first smoke, we’re also including a signed copy of our first recipe book, Let There Be Meat. Filled with over 100 recipes, it truly is the Ultimate Barbecue Bible.

RED’S TRUCKER CAP

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Be Red’s or be redneck in our red and white Trucker cap and show the faith above your face.

BEER KOOZIE

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Let there be beer!

Worship the perfect sup with an I Believe beer koozie, guaranteed to keep your craft beer on the money while you tend to the smoker.

Full Terms and Conditions can be found here. G’luck!

 

BBQ Meat Spaghetti

We found this one in St Louis on our last Pilgrimage to the US, and you may have sampled it as part of our Pilgrimage specials in May. It’s a great dish for roast beef or pork leftovers, or if you’re into your true barbecue, leftover smoked brisket or pulled pork! Thank you Miss Lilly for being truly inspiring, although we have given it our own twist…

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Makes: 4 servings
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

400g Spaghetti
400g beef or pork meat, chopped into bit size chunks or pulled
1 tbsp Red’s Pulled Pork Barbecue Rub
1 bottle Red’s Kansas City Barbecue Sauce
1 bottle Red’s Judas Ketchup
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 medium white onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
Fresh cracked pepper

Method

1. Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large pot. Add the onion and green pepper, garlic and sauté until softened.
2. In the meantime, boil spaghetti in a large, salted pan water boiling water until al dente for about 7 minutes and drain.
3. Add the meat and rub to the frying pan, and continue sautéing for 2-3 minutes. Add the barbecue sauce and ketchup and reduce to a simmer for 3-5 minutes to combine all the flavours stirring regularly. Add water if the mixture is sticking or too thick.
4. Toss the spaghetti into the large pot, mix through and serve in a bowl covered with oregano and black pepper. Awesome with garlic buttered Texas Toast on the side. Add jalapeño slices for an extra slap around the chops.

If you haven’t got one of our rubs and sauces yet, you can still buy online at Asda. And don’t forget keep sharing your best creations on Twitter and Instagram – we’ll repost the best.

Amen to BBQ spaghetti.

Baked Mustard Barbecue Country Chops

This recipe is based on the Red’s Country-Style Ribs recipe, but with a light mustard kicker pushing big on that umami, back-of-cheeks tangy flavour profile you imagine angels kiss with. If you can’t find grits, polenta is basically the same thing.

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Makes: 4 servings
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

4 bone-in, 3/4-inch-thick pork rib chops, trimmed of fat
1 Red’s Pulled Pork Barbecue Rub
2/3 bottle Red’s Kansas City BBQ Sauce
2/3 bottle Red’s South Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce
2 tbsp rapeseed oil, divided
1 medium white onion, diced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
250ml unsweetened pineapple juice

Method

1. Preheat barbecue to super-high (highest it can go!)

2. Preheat oven to 200°C/395°F

3. Lightly oil 1 tbsp rapeseed oil on the pork chops, then sprinkle and massage with Red’s Pulled Pork Barbecue Rub. Place on the hottest part of the grill for 2 minutes each side to get some serious colour and grill marks. You don’t want to cook them through at this stage; the actual cooking is done in the oven at the next stage. Transfer to a plate.

4. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to an oven proof sauce pan. Stir in onion and yellow pepper and cook until translucent for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Don’t forget to stir regularly. Add pineapple juice and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Stir in both barbecue sauces. Place the pork chops into the pan with the sauce, turning several times to coat.

5. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the pork chops are cooked though for about 10 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meat is 65°C/150°F. Serve the chops and mustard sauce over herbed couscous or grits and barbecued sprouting broccoli.

 

Let there be Liverpool!

Believers, we’re stoked to announce the location of your next church of worship is…Liverpool!

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We’ll be arriving in Merseyside in November, taking residency in a site on Hannover Street. Expect, bourbon, beats, beer and…well…meat.

We’ll be releasing more details in the coming weeks and months, but keep checking the Facebook page for more information.

We’re also recruiting for both chef and management roles – if you’re interested, then you can apply through our website. More roles will be added over time, so keep checking back if the role you want isn’t there just yet.

Amen to low n’ slow in Liverpool.

Red’s Leeds on BBQ Champ

As we shared on Twitter and Instagram a couple of months ago, our BBQ brother from another mother Adam Richman (of Man vs. Food fame) swung by our Leeds restaurant to meet the team and sample some authentic ‘cue. He visited us up North especially to film his new TV show, BBQ Champ, which first aired on ITV1 a couple of weeks back.

This week’s episode (14/8/15) was all about the art of low n’ slow barbecue – alleluia! Adam wanted experts to show how the contestants how it should be done…which is where we came in!

Co-founder James and Pitmaster Cristiano gave Adam a tour of our kitchen and on-site smokers, which was quickly followed by Adam sampling some of your Red’s favourites. Think pulled pork, mac-n-cheese balls, onion rings, bacon-wrapped jalapeños and, most importantly, brisket. Judging by the picture below, it’s safe to say that Adam enjoyed it.

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You can watch the episode on ITV Player (we’re featured at around 30 minutes in if you don’t fancy watching the whole episode) for the next 30 days, and we’ve included some behind-the-scenes photos from the day below.

Amen to low n’ slow.

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Red’s Delivered in Manchester

Manchester believers, your prayers have now been answered. You can now get MEAT delivered in Manchester City Centre, with Deliveroo.

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Pulled Pork S’wich. Red’s Dirty Pit Burger (all the MEAT-filled goodness of the Pit Burger, minus the pesky salad…). A variety of custom meat combos. All these and more can be delivered straight to your doorstep for the very first time, leaving you to get messy in your own home.

Before you rush off and order, check the delivery radius below which shows the area we can deliver to. For any questions, Deliveroo are also on Twitter.

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Praise be Deliveroo.

 

Barbecue Steak Hache with Eggs Horseback

If you’ve bought one of our Asda rubs and sauces and looking for some ‘cue inspiration this summer, then you’re in luck.

Inspired by the French dish “steak haché à cheval”, this BBQ version packs absolutely everything into it. Mustardy-sweetness with a hot kick and runny yolk to boot. Great for a low carb option, on a hot, sunny day. Warning: this is frikkin’ juicy!

Barbecue Steak Hache with Eggs Horseback

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Makes: 4 servings
Active Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 800g ground chuck steak, shaped into 4 patties
  • 1 packet Red’s Beef Rub
  • 2 tsp Red’s Mustard BBQ Sauce
  • 4 tbsp Red’s Unholy BBQ Sauce
  • 1 medium red onion, diced finely
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 8 tbsp butter, divided into 2
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped, divided
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped, divided
  • 4 dashes Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • salt & freshly cracked black pepper

Method

1. Heat the rapeseed oil in a frying pan, add the onion and cook until just brown. Add half the rosemary towards the end and cook out for 30 seconds. You want the onion to catch a little burn. Transfer into a large bowl to cool.

2. Heat your barbecue to a high heat (200°C/495°F)

3. Add the mince, packet of Red’s Beef Rub, Red’s Mustard BBQ Sauce, half the parsley to the bowl of cooled onion and rosemary. Mix through lightly with your hands until evenly mixed.

4. Form into even patties, oil the grates of the barbecue and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side until cooked though or 75°C/167°F internal temperature. If you are grinding your own chuck and using it immediately, you can cook it to rare if you wish or 50°C/122°F.

5. Transfer the patties to a warmed plate and cover with tin foil, shiny side in to rest.

6. Heat 4 tsp of butter in a skillet and carefully break the eggs and cook them sunny side up until the whites are firm. Remove the tin foil from the steak hache plate, spread 1 tbsp Red’s Unholy BBQ Sauce over each pattie and crown each one with an egg. Season the eggs with salt, pepper and a dash of hot sauce.

7. Heat final 4 tablespoons butter in a skillet until it starts to foam, then combine the capers and the remaining parsley and rosemary. When the butter just starts to brown, pour equal amounts of the sauce over each egg/pattie and serve hot with a rocket and burnt beet salad.

8. Shed a tear and engulf.

We’ll be sharing more recipes over the summer, so keep checking back to the blog for updates.

We’d be stoked to see your creations as well. Share them on Twitter and Instagram and we’ll re-post the best!

Your August special: Jerk Country Ribs

Behold, a special for August only – Jerk Country Ribs. 

Our annual road-trip Pilgrimage across the US inspires a great many dishes at Red’s. Who would think New York would be on that list for authentic ‘cue? But right now Brooklyn is bang on trend.

A stopover at Hometown Bar-B-Que, Brooklyn, and a load of beers & bourbon with owner and Pitmaster Billy Durney, gave us the idea for this dish.

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Your first special is a heavenly union of Jamaican spice and low n’ slow barbecue. Ridiculously meaty and boneless country ribs are twice marinated in Jerk seasoning, topped with slithers of fiery Scotch bonnet peppers and served with a sweet potato Southern biscuit and a fresh slice of watermelon to tame the heat.

They’ll go heavenly with our Jamaican Mojito or a bottle of Kona Fire Rock beer.

Available for 12.95 throughout August, present your True Believer Rewards card to your server when ordering. If you don’t have one yet, don’t sweat – just ask a member of staff to grab one and sign you up there and then.

Don’t miss out.

Earn blessings every time you worship

Behold, the new and improved True Believer Rewards programme.

Every time you spend £1 at the church of true barbecue, you earn 1 faith point.

If you have

You can now accumulate faith points every time you visit, not just at lunch. By spending £1 at the church of true barbecue, you earn 1 faith point. Faith points can then be redeemed for meaty blessings on your next pilgrimage to Red’s.

You can now earn meaty blessings by eating from:

  • The Good Book
  • The Takeout menu*
  • Brunch menu at weekends

Not only that, we’ll also be hosting a special dish each and every month, exclusively for True Believer Rewards cardholders. When signed up, keep checking your emails for more information.

And you’ll still get a birthday treat on Red! Full details of the True Believer Rewards programme and all the blessings available can be found here.

Time to start earning MEAT.

1 faith = 1 point.

*Does not include Deliveroo orders in Leeds/Headingley.

Let There Be Meat – out now!

Believers, your summer barbecue companion has now arrived. Our first recipe book, Let There Be Meat, has now been released!

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Inspired by our annual Pilgrimage round the U.S, Let There Be Meat shows you how to get the most out of your meat. The must-have companion for anyone interested in the art of barbecue and smokehouse, its packed with 120 authentic recipes to help you celebrate the art of true barbecue and discover the satisfaction and deliciousness of low and slow cooking.

It’s not even just restricted to meat. We’ve got matching cocktails, sides, sweet stuff and how to make your own pig roaster and home brew IPA. Alleluia!

You can pick up a copy in any of our restaurants or over on Amazon. And don’t forget to peel back the sticker on the front of your book, a surprise awaits…

Red’s delivered!

Your prayers have been answered. Red’s now delivers in Leeds and Headingley!

We’ve teamed up with  Deliveroo to bring the authentic taste of barbecue to your front doorstep for the very first time (free smells included). To praise the launch of our new delivery service, we enlisted the help of the Aire Valley Harley Davidson Owners Group to surprise the first order with something slightly unique…

Safe to say she was impressed!

Just pop your post code into Deliveroo to check whether we can deliver to you. As we want to make sure your food arrives in the premium quality you expect from Red’s, we deliver to a 2.2km radius of either of our Leeds-based restaurants.

You can also check the map below to see whether the gospel spreads to your home.

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Manchester and Nottingham, more details to come…

Amen to takeaway!

The Good Book at The Old Blue Last

The #RedsPopUp at the Old Blue Last is now less than a week away. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from June 11 to July 4, we’ll be serving true barbecue to the masses upstairs in The Flat.

To mentally prepare yourself for the MEAT to come, feast your eyes on the Good Book below.

The Good Book @ The Flat

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And just in case you need some more motivation…this awaits.

Amen to true barbecue.

Sandwiches - The Pitmaster S'Wich

Bless your meat this summer

You asked. Red delivered. From 4th July, 5 sauces and 4 rubs will be available in ASDA stores nationwide.

These are no cheap imitations. All the tastes and flavours are inspired by our annual pilgrimage round the U.S. This means we can bring you the real, authentic taste of American BBQ joints, straight to your table.

Feast your eyes on the full selection below and start preparing for summer.

The Sauces

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Kansas City BBQ Sauce 

This sweet, smoky, BBQ bliss is a traditional tomato-based Kansas City recipe, with sweet molasses, and a few spices to add a mild kick.

Mop it. Slop it. Love it. Slather it over your pork ribs, add it to your cooking, or use as a dipper with just about anything.

South Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce

This is pure ‘Carolina Gold’, an authentic mustard-based recipe from South Carolina. It blends sweetness with vinegar and mustard to create a tangy BBQ sauce perfect for pulled pork and beef.

Unholy BBQ Sauce

There is one secret recipe to rule them all, and it’s Unholy. Baptise your meat with this Mid Western-style sweet, rich, tomato-based sauce with added flavours of orange and fennel. Mix it with your mince or use it as base to your cooking. 

Devil Wing BBQ Sauce

Conjured by Lucifer himself, get ready to add a devilish twist and a kick to your chicken, turkey or burger mince. It’s sweet, smoky and hot, hot, hot. 

Judas Ketchup

Whilst not true barbecue, Judas Ketchup will have you betraying your taste buds in favour of this smoky tomato sauce with a little kick. Dollop it on your fries, burgers, meats or…quite frankly anything that deserves saving.

The Rubs

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Pulled Pork Barbecue Rub 

Taking inspiration from the Carolinas, this rub will help you unlock your inner Pitmaster. The genuine blend of spices, garlic and onion will transform your slow cooked pork shoulder into a dish worthy of worship.

Pork Rib Barbecue Rub

Inspired by the BBQ pits of Memphis, Tennessee, this rub will turn out full flavoured racks every time, whether you love meaty baby backs or tender spare ribs.

Chicken Barbecue Rub 

It’s time to bless your chicken, and transform it from a poultry dish to a heavenly offering. Red’s signature blend of spices, herbs, onion and garlic will infuse your chicken with BBQ goodness.

Beef Barbecue Rub 

Start on your path to salvation and send your steaks to heaven. Simply sprinkle over the meat before you hot fry or grill and allow the blend of spices, pepper and herbs to bless your plate.

Red’s Pop Up: Old Blue Last

As we announced earlier this month, London believers will now be getting their very own place of worship – we open the gates to Shoreditch in July.

If you can’t wait that long and yearn for your meat fix sooner, then don’t fear – Red is here to help.

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Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening from June 11 – July 4, let the Old Blue Last become your temporary place of worship. We’ll be hosting a residency in The Flat upstairs, bringing smoked meat and free smells to Hackney ahead of schedule.

The pub is on 38 Great Eastern Street, London, EC2A 3ES – just spitting distance from where we’ll be pitching up in July.

Full menu to be revealed soon. Clue: it’ll contain MEAT.

True barbecue comes to Shoreditch this summer

It’s official. We’re coming to London.

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In July, Shoreditch will be blessed with our next smokehouse on 52-54 Great Eastern Street.

If you’ve worshiped at Red’s before, all your hallowed favourites will be there. From the Donut Burger and the Sleepy James, to our USDA Prime brisket. If you’ve never been, take a virtual flick through the Good Book – July is but a few sleeps away.

More details to follow, so keep updated by following us on Facebook.

Amen to bringing true barbecue to the South.

Day #11 Red’s Pilgrimage Washington D.C

At Red’s we serve more than 70,000 people across the business each month. By those odds, you’re going to meet some cool, interesting people stood outside, whilst catching a smoke. Cue Bryan Crosswhite. Bryan is a Louisiana-born, ex-government official who now runs a string of Cajun restaurants, The Cajun Experience.

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If you’ve never had Cajun food then blend a fusion of French thinking, american loving and the Gulf of Mexico, and you’ve got it. Dishes like Crawfish Boil, Étouffée, fried Catfish, Gator Bites, and Seafood Gumbo intoxicate your mind and palate. And here, it’s all next level.

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On the steps of Red’s Manchester we promised Bryan the next time we were over we’d hook up and check out his place. We took an internal flight from Austin to Washington D.C especially. And sweet mother of meat, are we glad we did. Like his food, Bryan is a wonderfully intoxicating person to be around. Laid back, incredibly sharp and intelligent, full of heart, a complete foodie nut, and full to the brim with engaging stories; this was the perfect antidote to barbecue, bourbon and relentless schedules.

Crawfish Boil

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Craw Mac & Cheese

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Jambalaya

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Étouffée

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Crawfish Pies 

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Cajun Bloody Mary

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One brewer, many choices

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Banana Pudding

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If you’re ever in Virginia, or Washington D.C. please take the time to visit The Cajun Experience, and take a step into the world of authentic, Louisiana-inspired food: it’s a promise from the Red’s team you won’t regret it.

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Day #10 Red’s Pilgrimage Austin

The last time we were here, the Red’s team were on a very personal mission to visit the lauded Mecca of American barbecue; Franklin’s. Queue jump a year forward, and with slightly more knowledge under our BBQ belts, this visit was a chance to wind down from the intensity of the Pilgrimage and not have to face 4 hours of waiting to fill our bellies.

Before arriving in Texas’s capital, we did have to deal with the misfortune of Scott’s driving skills, which landed our multi-tonne RV in a roadside quagmire in the middle of duelling banjo’s territory, only to luckily be pulled free by a man who happened to have a fully speced up, but hugely out of date, tow truck in his back yard. $60 in $1 bills later (it looked fatter that way), and we were on the road again.

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Black’s is a famous name in BBQ if you live around these parts. No family in Texas has owned and continuously operated a barbecue business longer – it’s now in its 4th generation.  We’ve already feasted at their Lockhart joint, but they also have one in San Marcos and another here in Austin Gaudalupe, so time to kick back.
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We SSS and jumped in the taxi from the RV park. The Texan sun was burning by this point, a prophetic and welcome reprieve from what it had been. It’s always great at this point in the Pilgrimage; everyone is relaxed, contemplative, talkative, and totally up for reliving the past 10 days antics. So, when the taxi driver dropped us off, we completely missed the fact we hadn’t been dropped at Black’s Austin, but Terry Black’s Austin, a family offshoot, run by his twin sons, Michael and Mark. Well, if it was anything like the Mueller’s family dynasty where everything and anything that family touch turns to BBQ gold, we had to give it go.
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And we weren’t disappointed. Day #10 was rounded off with mesquite and oak-smoked Brisket and spare ribs, plus a load of great sides. What happened on Rainy Street later will stay off the page – but if you see us, do ask and we’ll be more than happy to share.

Day #8 & #9 Red’s Pilgrimage Dayton and Houston

Whilst not eating is cheating on Pilgrimage we managed to sneak a few hours in amongst the busy schedule to truly immerse ourselves in the Texan way of life.  Think guns. Horses. Girls on horses. Girls on horses firing guns.

Dayton Gun Club & Range
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For the price of a pint you can hire a fully automatic weapon and fill your boots. Add another $5 and you can purchase a pot of Tannerite, an explosive that detonates only when shot with a high velocity bullet. It explodes with such force that you can feel the shock wave on your chest from a good 25 metres away.
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For a good few hours we got trigger happy with AKs, MKs, semi automatic hand guns, shot guns, you name it, all under the watchful eye of Bob, an 83-year-old US navy war veteran, who wore a .350 Magnum stuffed down the front of his pants, like a total boss.
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Houston Rodeo
For 3-weeks in March the huge NRG stadium, home to the Houston Texans American Football team, transforms into the incredible Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. To get a sense of how popular Rodeo is here in the Lone Star state, during the whole event more than 2.4m Stetson-wearing locals turn up to swill beer, buy steers worth up to $300,000 and watch cowboys try to stay attached to a bucking bronco to earn a $50,000 pay check. This was the finale day, and as we made our way from the car park in the pi£$ing down rain, all we could see was a tidal wave of denim and rhinestones pouring into the stadium…
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We were there to hook up with ‘Outlaw Annie’ to give us the inside score into cowboy mounted shooting, a sport that she is crowned world champion.
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This Rodeo discipline involves a rider attempt to shoot a series of 10 balloons whilst galloping around a route faster than AP McCoy, change guns halfway, and career over the finish in under 15 seconds.
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Whilst originally bullets were used, modern times have required a more spectator-friendly approach so black gunpowder is used in its place, giving the sharp shooter a range of around 20’. The whole spectacle is served up with a gargantuan dollop of true yankee pomp to whip up the crowd into a whooping and hollering frenzy.

We spent the rest of the afternoon watching her new recruits before heading out to the huge outdoor food tent area where you could eat everything from mesquite-smoked giant bacon-wrapped turkey legs to authentic Cajun dishes.

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Today was a Texan good. Guns. Girls on horses firing guns. And bacon. Because everything tastes better with bacon.

Day #7 Red’s Pilgrimage Pecan Lodge

“I wasn’t born in Texas but I got here as fast as I could”.

This well-known local car bumper sticker was made for Dallas. It’s been a year since we were here in this fantastic city, catching up with BBQ friends Justin and Diane Fourton from Pecan Lodge.

Last time their tiny little operation in Dallas Farmer’s Market was punching above its weight turning out incredible barbecue, and making Texas Monthly headlines. Now, one year on they’ve put down roots and invested in their very own 240-cover restaurant. It’s sited in Deep Ellum, a cool, creative area of Dallas punctuated with live music bars, bric-a-brac shops and tattoo studios.

This couple is super-laid back and unassuming, but don’t let that cloud any preconceptions you may have about their desire to succeed. The former Accenture corporate consultants claim part of their success is down to their previous roles, helping them bring discipline and an exacting, scientific approach to the art of barbecue.

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Justin towers at well over 6’6”, and is built like a second row rugby player. His wife Diane is one of those women who makes you feel so at ease that you can end up losing a few hours just shooting the breeze with her.

We shared stories over a pint of their new house beer – Boss Lady – a collaboration between them and local brewery, Four Corners, whom we met last visit. The past 12-months have been a baptism of fire, as they’ve grappled with the demands of serving 3,000 people a day at weekends, and regularly selling out by 3pm.

Thankfully despite the move further into town, they’ve managed to maintain their use of steel barrel smokers with offset fireboxes, all housed in a covered area at the back, overlooking the outdoor seating area.  We popped back to check out the guys just starting their overnight shift, tending the brisket and pork butts.

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As we moved outside you could smell Justine’s choice blend of oak and mesquite, floating down the road like a lasso ready to snare any unwitting passers by. Before we left we spent a brief moment in the kitchen quizzing one of his kitchen staff, Red, about Pecan Lodge’s housemade sausages and managed to mine some good nuggets to bring back home.

True to the generosity of this fantastic couple, their parting gifts were two huge full bags, brimming with a whole brisket, two giant beef ribs, an entire spare rib slab, half a butt of pulled pork and a tray of Diane’s famous Mac and Cheese. Amen to Pecan Lodge.

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Day #6 Red’s Pilgrimage Joplin & Oklahoma City

Time to chew up a few more hundred miles and cross into a new state; Oklahoma. We’re on route to Oklahoma City to visit Back Door BBQ, but not before a quick ‘cue stop in Joplin to meet with Amy and her team at Woody’s Smokehouse.

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If anyone followed the Pilgrimage last year you might remember our brief visit to Rudy’s in Texas, a huge multi-site smokehouse operation.

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Intentional or not, but Woody’s looks very similar – which came first, who knows. This independent, roadside ‘cue joint is owned and run by serial restaurateur Amy Vogt. Whilst without its own dedicated style Oklahoma’s BBQ blends the pork traditions of Southeastern US and the beef tradition of Texas, as well smoked Turkey.

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We sneaked behind the scenes with Amy. Outback two huge J&R smokers dominate the kitchen. The Pitmaster here is a young guy, Jake, who has worked his way up in the business over the last 10 years.

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We swapped a few recipes and ideas for rubs, before getting stuck in to some excellent food. Perhaps the standout, and something we’re giving consideration to trying out at Red’s, is smoked turkey and pork loin – deep smoky flavour and insanely moist. The sides were equally strong with a ‘potato soup’ dish a memorable choice.

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Time to bounce to Oklahoma City….

Back Door BBQ
Oklahoma City plays host to one of the largest livestock markets in the world. You can be sat in a restaurant eating your barbecue whilst cattle lorry after cattle lorry passes by in the street outside. It’s a good indication the food miles are going to be practically zero.

This city also sits slap bang in the heart of ‘Tornado Alley’. Measured on a scale of force and destruction from F1 – F5, this city has had the misfortunate of being on the thick end of eight F4s and a devastating F5. And guess what; it’s approaching tornado season, so time to get in, eat up and chip.

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Back Door BBQ is run by chef Kathryn Mathis and Pitmaster Kenny. We were super excited to see these guys, given the banter we’d had on social – they seemed to really get the spirit of the Red’s Pilgrimage.

We were welcomed at the door by Kathryn: short in stature, wearing chef’s blacks with quarter length trousers exposing her many tattoos. Each design is a reflection of her dry humour, and we knew straight away we’d get on.

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This joint is a chef’s smokehouse. The menu is simple, but epic in every way. The meats reflected the true Oklahoma blend of Texas and Southeastern style, but with the addition of a unique, local twist; smoked Bologna.

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Sides included fried pickled Okra, deviled eggs and baked corn, and there wasn’t one burger or sandwich that didn’t sound next level. Oh, and did we mention the incredible free table sauces? Classic, Hot, Sweet, Mustard and Espresso completed the experience.

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This was true barbecue, with a huge big Okie dollop of love, attention and creativity.